Saturday, 10 December 2011

Divorce party

Yesterday, I discovered a new phenomenon after being invited to my first ever divorce party. My life has pretty much followed this pattern: my friends meet a partner, the move in together, they buy a house, they get engaged, they get married, they produce a child, they baptise said child, child turns 1, they produce another, baptise that one ... and so the pattern continues until the numbers get frightfully out of hand. All along the way, I am expected to reward them for their choices and duly do so until I lose count of how many presents I owe whom. A few got divorced, thereby exiting the conveyor belt somewhere between marriage and child #1 and enabling them to start the cycle again, but as far as I am aware none of them threw a divorce party. Until now.

It's hard to know the correct protocol for an event such as this. What does one do at a divorce party? Is it an event for celebrating or commiserating? Who is invited? Are couples, or people with partners, allowed to turn up and be happy in their relationships? No-one seemed to know.

I appealed to the Twitterverse for help. Suggestions came in thick and fast, ranging from "I guess everybody will drink lots of wine and cry" (euw!) to getting drunk and singing trashy karaoke. You've Lost That Loving Feeling was a definite starter.

Work colleagues had their own ideas. A recently separate workmate thought it sounded like a great idea and said she might consider throwing a divorce party of her own with her ex-husband and all their family and friends so they can celebrate ten wonderful years and two beautiful children together. Now, this sounded more like an anniversary to me and I had to check if this is what she meant. No, she confirmed. They were definitely separating.

I don't get it.

As it turns out, the divorcee declared the event to be an occasion of great joy. Although it was a simple dinner with a small group of friends at a Chinese restaurant, it was one she had planned to celebrate for months. I won't go into detail but can confirm that she did indeed look joyous, couples were both invited and welcome, there was wine sans karaoke and tears ...

I still don't get it.

Do you have a divorce party story? Or have you thrown a divorce party yourself??


Kez said...

I can see the appeal in a divorce party, I guess! It would be a way of turning a negative into a positive.
Like celebrating that you're free from your douche ex haha.
I guess it's about looking forward to a new, exciting chapter in your life?
I can see how the intention might be good, but it could backfire quite easily and end up with someone sobbing in the corner, nice and full of wine haha. Could get awkward if the party thrower had too many unresolved feelings!!

Alli said...

Wow.... I can't see that at all. I've heard of the idea before but always thought it was a joke.

The only way I can see celebrating a divorce is if you were with someone who was abusing you physically or emotionally. Otherwise, it is a sad occasion as two people who once loved each other (maybe even produced some children together) no longer care about each other that way.

I feel like that would be me celebrating getting an F in grad school or dropping out. Yes, it's nice to look for positives in life but I don't think that's quite the meaning of it. Perhaps other areas of life are flourishing....

Sorry, I feel like I ranted there! I guess they just wouldn't be for me. I can't see myself going to one.

Donna said...

I wanted to throw a divorce party when my divorce was final. But it wasn't going to be a sad weeping one. It was more of a celebration of being free of a bad marriage. I haven't been to one yet, but would love to go!